With just 4 weeks remaining before the annual Chicago Pride Parade kicks off, city officials have still not told area residents how dangerous crowding and post-parade mayhem will be addressed.
As for the parade itself, few changes are expected. CWB revealed last week that, despite local politicians' claims that the parade might be moved downtown this year, parade organizers confidently filed their application for 2015 six months ago. Every aspect of the 2015 parade application, from duration to route to the number of participants, is identical to organizers' 2014 plan.
Since our report, the parade's official web site has been updated with details of the 2015 event and the only change is a greater emphasis on discouraging the public consumption of alcohol.
Organizers also say they will pay 90 off-duty police officers to help manage the crowd. That management is expected to include the establishment of liquor screening checkpoints at parade route access points this year.
As a police matter, drinking in public is generally addressed with a citation—called an ANOV. Chicago police issued 230 ANOVs during last year's parade. Only 10 were issued the year before.
"Consolidation"According to multiple sources who have attended Pride planning meetings this spring, moving the 2015 parade to a downtown location was never seriously on the table. But a move next year has been "discussed seriously."
The sources all confirmed that Chicago's overgrown Pride Parade and after-party mayhem have become a "public safety issue" that the city is committed to containing.
According to our sources, if the parade moves downtown next year, the city would like for the Northalsted Business Alliance to hold its increasingly-popular Pride Fest street fair on the same weekend as the parade. Pride Fest is is currently held on the weekend before the parade.
"If the parade goes downtown, they want to have something for people to do if [parade-goers] come to Boystown" afterwards, a city worker said.